Living for the lights
story by Jon Hernandez
After first turning down Denise Drive and seeing its suburban houses, you wouldn’t think twice about this street.
Then you come across one house that catches your eye. Elaborate Halloween decorations adorn the yard, transforming a simple patch of green grass into a graveyard filled with plastic skeletons.
But step inside the home and you’ll find a different theme. University of Kentucky blue dominates the living room and classic rock radio can be heard throughout the house at all hours.
In the black recliner, a man with a large smile and an even larger heart greets you. Rick “Poncho” Lambert was born and raised in Henderson, and is the biggest fan on the Henderson County sports scene.
While attending Henderson County High School in the late 1960s, Rick was a part of the Colonels football team. Mojo Hollowell dubbed Rick “Poncho,” and it’s stuck ever since.
Speak with anyone in Henderson and they’ll tell you that you can always find Poncho in the stands or on the sidelines of any Henderson County High School game cheering on every athlete while inviting fellow fans to dig into his signature bag of bubble gum.
Poncho’s deep love of sports started from playing as a youngster. “I guess I was born loving it,” says Poncho, “I really miss it.” Now in his early 60s, Poncho can no longer play sports, but that doesn’t stop him from attending games and being Henderson’s number one fan.
Poncho says that in 55 years of attending local games, he can recall missing games only twice. Poncho’s love doesn’t just drive him to attend games, he also donates to the athletic programs. His devotion is so great that in 2008, he was inducted into the Henderson County Sports Hall of Fame.